The 2019 - 2nd Annual Yao / Iu Mien Festival - Chiang Khong

Discussion in 'Touring Northern Thailand - Trip Reports Forum' started by DavidFL, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #1 DavidFL, Feb 15, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    8-9 February 2019 saw the second annual ethnic Yao / Mien hill tribe festival in Chiang Khong with hundreds of Mien people coming together for a regional get together.
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    The 2019 event was significantly bigger than the 1st one held in 2018.

    The 1st Mien / Yao Festival At Chiang Khong For Songkran 2018

    The Yao or Mien people came from afar - China, Vietnam, France, Laos & all over north Thailand.
    Organised by the Yao / Mien people with little outside support, it was highly impressive how people came from everywhere, such is the strength of their network.
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    Run over two days at the Catfish Park in Chiang Khong, the first day is basically for the set up of a huge market featuring Mien handicrafts - silverware, costumes, artwork.
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    and it was a total pleasure to have Jurgen along in 2019 for some photography.

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    The second day has a parade, an official opening, Mien dancing, singing & a beauty contest.
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    more to come..
     
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  2. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    The Yao / Iu MIen have a history dating back as far back as 5th BC in China, originally near Tibet; and there are 28 sub-names under Mien.
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    Persecution over the centuries saw many of them move out of China to Vietnam, Laos & then Thailand.
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    For those in Laos, they got caught up in the Vietnam war, helping the CIA against the communists, then having to flee to Thailand when the other side won. From 1976 - 1995, 40,000 plus Iu MIen went to the USA as refugees, (it wasn't only the Hmong ethnic refugees).

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    Estimates are that at least 2 to 3 million Iu Mien are living in China, 500,000 thousand plus Iu Mien in Vietnam., 50,000 thousand plus in Thailand and about 30,000 thousand plus in Laos.

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    In North Thailand you can find Yao people in Chiang Rai province (Doi Mae Salong, Mae Chan, Chiang Khong), Nan province (R1148, R101, R1081), Phayao province (Chiang Kham), Lampang, Phitsanulok, Tak & Khampaeng Phet even.
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    Nan province is famous for it's silverware, especially Pua & there were Yao silverware shops displaying their jewellery at the festival.
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    More to come
     
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Some costumes & participants
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  4. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    #4 DavidFL, Feb 16, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    A Yao Bridal outfit
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    It was very pleasing to see this attire once more.

    In 1990 & 91 I witnessed two Yao weddings in Pa Dua on the road to Doi Mae Salong, & the memories came flooding back of some fine National Geographic moments in bamboo huts with scores of Yao.

    Some images from the Yao weddings in 1990 & 91
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    291158-16161-gtr-yao-wedding1-.

    291158-16162-gtr-yao-wedding2-.

    More on GTR here: Yao Hill Tribe Wedding - Pa Dua
     
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  5. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    Great photos David, Thank you.
     
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    A few more pics

    Opening speeches
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    The Mien gals out & about
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    The China Mien guys with the old GTR fellah
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    Some more Chinese Mien
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    A local Nan Mien gal (left) with a China Mien woman
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    A young Yao artist working on a painting
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    Presentation of a painting to the officials
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    Some traditional Yao / Mien dancing
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    The young fashion models
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    Lung GTR at it again
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    In the evening there were speeches from the various group leaders, a lengthy beauty contest and a massive meal.
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    I checked the table bookings. 2,000 baht a table & 1,200 people registered for the evening banquet.
    The food looked excellent too I might add.
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    The darkness came & the temperature soon dropped dramatically, and I left the crowd to enjoy the evening.
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    Jurgen hung around to get photos of the beauty contest, but it was too cold for me with no jacket.
    Hopefully Jurgen will chip in with some outstanding gems.

    The event is a beauty & will be held again in 2020.
    Mark it down in your calendar for February (after Chinese New Year?) or early March.
     

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  7. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

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    Great stuff David, Thanks.
     

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